This project's main objectives were to assess the sensor’s accuracy, develop a robust handheld interface, and develop mobile phone apps to collect and display the sensor’s data.
In Africa, irrigation is largely under-developed and innovations are needed to help small-scale farmers manage their irrigation water. This study was the first step to delivering technology to such farmers by road testing a prototype sensor that measures soil moisture and gives an output resembling a traffic light: green (meaning plenty of water), orange (transition state), or red (running out of water).
- Selected the combination of electrode arrangement and porous media to give step changes in resistance when moving from Green to Orange and Orange to Red.
- Developed robust, inexpensive interface for recording the step change in resistance and display it as 3 lights.
- Tested the usefulness and acceptability of the sensor to African smallholder farmers.
- Developed phone apps to make data collection and display as simple and as meaningful as possible.